Year of the Dragon

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 24th, 2012

新年快乐 (Happy New Year)

Yesterday, January 23, 2012 was the date for the start of the Chinese “Year of the Dragon.”

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) was discovered a 100 years ago this year. Photo credit: Vassil (public domain).

Yes, that’s correct. While the media will be remembering the sinking of the Titanic, the opening of the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park, and the Japanese gift of cherry blossoms to Washington, D. C., some of us will recall that it was in 1912 that the Komodo dragon reports by locals and tales by travelers were confirmed.

Komodo dragons were first documented by Europeans in 1910, when rumors of a “land crocodile” reached Lieutenant van Steyn van Hensbroek of the Dutch colonial government. The critical year became 1912, when Peter Ouwens, the director of the Zoological Museum at Bogor, Java, published a paper on the animal after receiving a photo and a skin from the lieutenant, as well as two other specimens from a collector. Yet another new species had been “discovered” by Western Science.

The Dragon in China and Japan in the “Loren Coleman Presents” series from Cosimo Books is an exclusive.

Also, it should be noted, 1912 was the year of the “discovery” of the Piltdown Man too.

Meanwhile in Boston, perhaps those celebrating the 100th birthday of Fenway Park will also note that the Dragon Tavern was the birthplace of the Boston Tea Party in this very American political year?

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with a contribution to the International Cryptozoology Museum of a Komodo Dragon coin, if you have any, or perhaps merely by clicking here:

Thank you!

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

2 Responses to “Year of the Dragon”

  1. yowzasma responds:

    We had the privilege of seeing Naga, the Komodo Dragon that was ‘visiting’ the Ft. Worth Zoo years ago from the Cincinnati Zoo. What a magnificent creature he was. 🙂

  2. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    As a child I had a “thing” for the Komodo Dragon. Couldn’t read ENOUGH about them and was beside myself to go and SEE them up close and in person. I never did…you know how things are when you’re growing up…things happen…dreams fall by the wayside. But thanks to your post I can remember (if only for a short time) the WONDER they inspired in my adolescent breast.

    Thanks, Loren!

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